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Album Review

While Gwar is really more of a sight gag, its music has always held up its end of the band's bit, riffing on heavy metal clichés while using those same elements to create serviceable headbanging music. Musically, the papier-mâché pranksters' 1988 debut falls somewhere between Black Sabbath and Anthrax; lyrically, it's like Ween trapped inside the brain of a 14-year-old kid. Fart jokes, snickering song titles (the winner: "I'm In Love (With a Dead Dog)"), plenty of bizarre and/or gory references to sexual perversion, and references to anal caves — it's all in a day's work for Gwar. Standouts include "Americanized," which adds a bit of Crass-style street punk into the band's sound, the joke-establishing "Gwar Theme" ("We are Gwar/We'll go far/We've got guitars/We'll eat your car") and "Techno's Song," which introduces Techno Destructo, a Gwar-hating alien who lives "way past Uranus." The death ray sound effect cutting through "World O Filth"'s hardcore thrash is also spectacular.


Formed: Richmond, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

GWAR (popularly thought to be an acronym for God What an Awful Racket, despite the band's protests to the contrary) are thrash metal's answer to the more mainstream satire of Spinal Tap. Gory, sexually perverse, and scatological in the extreme, GWAR were formed at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond as an experiment in marketing strategy by several musicians, art students, and dancers. The group claimed to consist of all-powerful interplanetary warriors, descended from aliens stranded in...
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Hell-O, GWAR
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